An old prospector wandered into a small town where he was accosted by a loud, obnoxious and quite drunken cowboy. The cowboy pointed his six-shooters in the old miner’s direction and asked, “Old man, do you know how to dance?”
“Nope,” the prospector replied.
“Maybe you’d better learn,” said the cowpuncher. Hot lead kicked up dust around the old man’s feet and he began to dance.
Soon, however, the guns were empty. Now the old prospector reached into his saddlebag and pulled out a sawed-off shotgun.
“Son,” he said, “you ever kissed a mule?”
Looking first at the shotgun, then at the spot where the mule’s tail is attached to its body, the young cowboy got the message. “Nope,” he answered, “I never kissed a mule. But I always wanted to!”
Desire is another word for wanting to do something. And in real life, desire is not something that can be given by anyone else. If there is something you want to do, it is probably not because somebody is holding a gun to your head. You just want to do it. Your desire comes from the inside.
If you decide you want to improve, if you want a meaningful relationship or more fulfilling work, if you want a rich spiritual life or a healthier body, then the desire must come from your own heart. Nobody can make you want those things. They can support you and even inspire you, but only you can make it happen.
There may be a hundred reasons we think we can’t be the people we want to be. But there is really only one. We don’t want it badly enough.
It was George Washington Carver, an African American who probably did have a hundred reasons not to change his circumstances, who a century ago said, “Most people search high and wide for the keys to success. If they only knew, the key to their dreams lies within.”
And that key is labeled “desire.”